Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Return to That Cute Dress

Before I start, I must tell you all that Bella has gone to a most wonderful home. A friend has taken her into her home with her two older cats and she seems to be adjusting well. So does my friend. Thank you, Heather!

Second item before the committee, the Birthday Extravaganza! The contest is now over and I will be announcing the winner tomorrow! Thanks to all of you who played. I expect everyone out there to head to F&B's store and buy a t-shirt now.
:) Yeah, I know. I should buy one of my own, huh?

It's that time again. Time, while I'm still on this particular kick (I really hope the next kick is healthy food and exercise - somehow I doubt it will be), I should continue something I started a while back.

Remember the little pillow case dress? No, I'm not going to do anymore smocking tutorials. Too involved. But the dress tutorial was moving along well. Time to pick up where I left off. If you're a beginner, please see Sewing 101.

It seems I left off with the cutting out of the pattern. Hm. This is moving rat
her slowly after all, isn't it? I'll show you a few construction steps, but I think a more helpful thing to do would be to give you all a couple of pattern numbers. Simple patterns with clear instructions. Easy to make a dress from an ornate pillowcase and pretend you spent HOURS doing it. I'll give you pattern numbers at the end.

Here are four, pretty much back to back, to illustrate what to do with the top, or bodice:




This is the bodice pinned together. The front gets pinned to the back at one shoulder, which gets pinned the other front which is pinned to the other back. All in a big circle. You'll see. Two things to be sure of: 1) rights sides are always together; 2) the fronts are always opposite each other and the backs always opposite each other.



Once the pins are in place, sew those shoulder seams together and fold at center backs. Like the picture above, still right side in. Oh, and since it's the little things that make a big difference, please ALWAYS make sure to press your seams flat (just the way you sewed them) before pressing them open. That fuses the thread to the fabric. Really! You think I make this stuff up? Just do it and stop whining. The iron is your friend.


Now you'll sew the neck closed and press that seam flat, just like you've sewn it.


This step's important. Don't leave it out. After you've sewn any kind of curve, especially a neckline, clip the curve like the above photo. That allows the curve to curve and the fabric to lie flat, not bunch. BE CAREFUL. When you clip those tiny triangles, DON'T cut into the seam! I tend to keep a distance of about an eighth of an inch from the seam. Don't want that opening up while it's being worn.



And then you flip the bodice right side out! I use a straight pin to pick the corners out to points. Oh! I also, before flipping, cut across the
corners, again being careful not to cut too close to the seam. Don't want bulky corners. Once the bodice is right side out, press it well. If you're having trouble getting that neck to lay flat before pressing it, use your fingers to roll the seam out to the edges before pressing, or finder roll it.

Here it is finished, ready to ship to Jan!



Well, that was quick.

I kid. Here are some patterns you can use to make this dress, or one similar to it. The first is a Butterick, number B4966. Angel cap sleeves are darling. Next is McCall's M4865 - perfect for this dress! Or turn the pillowcase into a sundress with Simplicity's 9784! I love the sundress option.

Whatever you choose, don't hesitate to email me if you run into a problem. I have no problem trouble shooting long distance. So why don't you wander down to your favorite antique shop and pick up a pillowcase? My email is fleabyte at gmail dot com.

Until I write again ...

Flea

15 comments:

Mental P Mama said...

That is too precious for words.

~ Straight Shooter ~ said...

THAT is the cutest thing EVER! Oh, how I miss those days when Girl Child could wear that size!

Anglophile Football Fanatic said...

Aww. That dress is so sweet. And, I hope you are feeling better?

Webradio said...

Very pretty photos... Nice post...

noble pig said...

Dang, that is adorable! I wish it would fit me.

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

Wow, have I ever missed a lot! I am so sorry to have missed your birthday dearest Flea. A very merry year to you.
I love the new look on your blog! Gorgeous!
And this dress, to die for! I adore the sleeves. I am a true beginner, but do you think I could pull off something like that? I love my girly in traditional styles.

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

Oh and your daughter looks so beautiful in her choral dress, just stunning!

Tammy said...

That's gorgeous!!! Thank you for the recipe for the chili, I'm going to try and give it a shot at making it this weekend.

Karen Deborah said...

Srinkin cute!

TSannie said...

Just lovely. But how do you ever get from point A to point finished? I get nauseated just thinking about it!

zobabe said...

So adorable, Flea. Mae in her dress was beautiful, too. You're just surrounded by lovely!

I'm glad Bella found a good home. I wish I could find homes for some of mine where they could be loved as much as they deserve. Thank you for saving her...

Jan Parrish said...

Wow! It's so cute. You are awesome. Thanks so much. What a wonderful idea.

Pinky said...

Absolutely adorable!!
I think I MIGHT could pull this off.

imbeingheldhostage said...

Flip, would you look at how far behind I am????? NEVER let family come stay with you, they really cramp the blogging habit.
Did you say Bella has a new home?

imbeingheldhostage said...

Birthday???